The White Lotus was last year’s sleeper hit, with the pitch perfect black comedy going on to scoop 10 Emmy Awards for its skewering of a group of overly-entitled guests holidaying at a luxurious Hawaiian resort. Now the show is back for season 2 with a brand-new location, in the picturesque town of Taormina on the south-east coast of Sicily. And just like the first series, most of the action takes place at a glamorous hotel, this time the San Domenico Palace, part of the Four Seasons group.
Jennifer Coolidge reprises her role as the hapless Tanya in The White Lotus season 2, alongside her new husband Greg (played by Jon Gries), but the rest of the cast is filled with new faces, with more than a few you might recognise, including British actor Theo James, Aubrey Plaza of Parks and Recreation fame and the ever-brilliant Tom Hollander.
While season one was filmed exclusively in the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, due to pandemic-related restrictions, for the second season they’ve branched out from the dreamy environs of the hotel to take in some of Sicily’s most beautiful towns and coastal spots, leaving one question on everyone’s lips: just where was The White Lotus filmed? Here’s our guide to all the key filming locations in The White Lotus season 2.
San Domenico Palace, Taormina,
A Four Seasons Hotel
As with the first season, most of the show is centred around the antics of the monied guests staying at an uber luxurious resort – in the first season that was the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea in Hawaii, and for the second season the team chose another Four Seasons resort: the grand San Domenico Palace hotel in Taormina. Situated high on the rocks, it offers up splendid views over the Ionian Sea, Mount Etna and an ancient amphitheatre. While the hotel only opened as a Four Seasons in July 2021, the property has a rich history dating back to the 15th century, when a monastery was established on the site. It went on to become a hotel in the late 19th century, when it played host to its fair share of famous faces, including Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Oscar Wilde and Sophia Loren.
Today, the hotel still boasts several alluring original features, including beautiful frescoes, courtyards and gardens that date back to the time of the monks, but there’s been plenty of elegant modernisation too. There are 111 stylishly appointed rooms and suites, as well as fine-dining restaurant Principe Cerami, a spa (which makes a particularly memorable appearance in episode six) and a 69-foot outdoor infinity pool overlooking the Ionian Sea, which goes on to become one of the central locations of the show.
As well as the town of Taormina and a yacht trip on the Ionian, this season included a visit to Noto, in the south-east of the island, for Daphne (Meghann Fahy) and Harper (Aubrey Plaza). Perhaps the second best known city in Sicily, Noto is famed for its spectacular Baroque architecture, and episode three sees Daphne and Harper strolling around the limestone piazza and taking in the Palazzo Ducezio and the cathedral on Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Noto is no stranger to being filmed either, having recently featured in the big-screen adaptation of Cyrano.
Villa Tasca, Palermo
During their jaunt to Noto, Daphne and Harper stay overnight at the magnificent neoclassical Villa Tasca, which actually happens to be in Palermo, on the other side of the island and about a four-hour drive away from Noto. If you feel like emulating the pair’s girls’ trip, the 16th-century villa is open to guests and has four suites to stay in, the most glamorous of which is the Contessa Suite, where the walls are entirely covered in frescoes.
There’s also a large swimming pool flanked by majolica tiles and beautifully landscaped gardens, filled with botanical species from all over the world.
The hotel beach that features at the beginning and end of season two is not actually in Taormina but in Cefalù, on the other side of the island bordering the Tyrrhenian Sea. The architecture in this part of the island’s north coast dates back to medieval times, and visitors here come to see the Norman cathedral as well as to stay at the popular beach resort. Most of the scenes filmed here for The White Lotus took place along the seafront by the Sea Palace Hotel, on Lungomare Giuseppe Giardina.